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The Office for National Statistics says there has been a very good response to its consultation on having just one official government-approved house price index, and that details of how it will be created will be published by the middle of March.

The ONS says: The consultation regarding the development of a new, single definitive house price index closed on 12 December 2014. There was a very good response to the consultation and thanks are passed to those who either responded directly to the consultation or attended one of the user sessions. A formal response to the consultation will be published within 12 weeks of the closing date.

The absence of a definitive government-approved index, and the proliferation of scores of other indices - often inspired for PR purposes rather than improving the transparency of the market - has long been an irritation to many in the agency industry.

Meanwhile the ONS has released its own latest index, showing that house prices increased 10 per cent in the year to the end of November, but this was down 0.4 per cent on the annual figure a month earlier.

The Office for National Statistics says house price inflation was 10.4 per cent in England, 3.1 per cent in Wales, 4.4 per cent in Scotland and 11.7 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in London of 15.3 per cent and to a lesser extent increases in the east of England (11.9 per cent) and the south east (10.8 per cent).

Excluding London and the south east, UK house prices increased by 7.1 per cent in the 12 months to November 2014.

In November, prices paid by first-time buyers were 11.0% higher on average than in the same month a ywar eaelier. For existing owners, prices increased by 9.5 per cent for the same period.


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